November 20, 2015
File this under “Real Good Things Happening for Southern California Junior Bike Racing”
For a youngster, road bicycle racing is not an easy sport to take up. There are a few cycling clubs in Southern California with “Junior” (18 and under) programs, but the intake of beginners for most is more or less, “Come ride your bike with us.” That’s not optimum. Mere participation in group rides, where habits – some good, some bad – are picked up and reinforced, can actually be a negative for bike racing skill development and safety. Lots of kids, even relatively fit ones, show up for their first race and are completely overwhelmed. Most of them never come back.
Some kids are lucky; they have an experienced friend or parent who can help them understand – before the first race – what to expect there and how to prepare for it. And how to then train accordingly.
But for those who weren’t born into the sport, in Southern California a new cyclist can now take guided, simulated road bike racing preparation classes over five weekend days beginning this November 28 in Redlands. It is called the Beginning Racer Program. The Beginning Racer Program is a 5-week series of clinics lead by professional coaches Sean and Rachael Wilson, and is designed to help new racers get the essential skills they need to become comfortable competing in bike racing.
These classes are a few hours a day over five days, but the experience will be a huge head-start for absolute beginners and an eye-opener for even experienced juniors who think they have learned enough. It is not mandatory to attend or sign up for all but, of course, the more the better because each day is a focus on a different racing skill set:
November 28th, 2015 – Saturday – Basic Pack Skills
December 13th, 2015 – Sunday – Cornering
January 2nd, 2016 – Saturday – Pack Awareness
January 3rd, 2016 – Sunday – Sprinting Basics
January 9th, 2016 – Saturday – Bringing it all Together
Each day, kids 12 and under will attend from 9:30 – 12:00. Kids 13 and up will start at 1pm. The program will be held at the Redlands Sports Complex, 1790 N. Dearborn Street, Redlands, CA 92374.
Here’s a link to the flyer. I highly recommend any potential road bike racer sign up for these courses. Space is limited.
The Beginning Racer Program is also a fundraiser for USAC cycling club GS Andiamo, which recently promoted a successful Smart Cycling safety class for its young cyclists and their parents in Redlands (also a pioneering effort for racing cyclists in Southern California). GS Andiamo’s beach cities chapter in Newport Beach is West Side Wheelmen.